Within 48 hours the NBA has lost two consummate professionals to retirement. Jason Kidd and Grant Hill, the 1995 NBA Co-Rookie of the Year recipients, have hung up their jerseys after 19 years of service.
Hill announced his retirement this past Saturday before game six of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers. “I’m glad to say I’m done,” Hill said on NBA on TNT on Saturday (June 1). “I’m officially retired, moving on from playing. I had a great run. I’m announcing it now. … I’ve been hinting at it the last few years. You get to a point where you just don’t want to do it anymore but I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve loved it.”
Although he was injury ridden throughout his career, Hill was an accomplished player; winning back-to-back NCAA championships with Duke University and a gold medal with Team USA in 1996, earning seven All-Star game nods
Kidd’s announcement came today (June 3). “I think it is the right time,” Kidd told ESPNNewYork.com. “When you think about 19 years, it has been a heckuva ride. Physically, I want to be able to participate in activities with my kids so it has taken a toll. It is time to move on and think about maybe coaching or doing some broadcasting.”
Kidd retires as an NBA champion a 10 time All-Star and with two Olympic gold medals.
Both Hill and Kidd, adored by fans and teammates alike, were more than competitors, they were ambassadors to the game of basketball and epitomized professionalism.